New Training Program Douses Propane Worries


September 17, 1999

Washington, DC--In its continuing effort to make communities safer, the Propane Education & Research Council and the National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) have developed a major new safety program designed to prevent and respond to propane emergencies.

Propane Emergencies was created to help America's emergency responders and firefighters develop the knowledge and skils necessary to safely and effectively manage a propane emergency in transportation or at fixed facilities. The educational package was distributed in August free of charge to 29,000 fire departments in the United States and 2,000 public safety and industrial hazardous materials response teams. The program includes a facilitator's guide with instructor lesson plans, a presentation CD-ROM and companion video, and a 220-page, illustrated text titled Propane Emergencies written by hazardous materials experts Michael Hildebrand and Gregory Noll.

Roy Willis, president of the Propane Council, explains the importance of the new program: 'The Council is committed to educating firefighters and emergency responders about the proper handling of propane, because we want to ensure the safety of both our communities and the people who work very hard to protect them,' said Willis. 'We're counting on this program to provide firefighters and emergency responders with the peace of mind that they have the right tools to safely handle propane emergencies.'

The program has been well received by the emergency response industry. Chief John Eversole, hazardous materials coordinator of the Chicago Fire Department praised this new program: 'This manual and the overall program will help the American fire and safety service to better prepare our emergency responders to more intelligently handle these situations. The program will allow this vital information to reach every community.'

Firefighters and emergency responders will have another opportunity to learn about this program at the NPGA Northeast Conference in Providence, Rhode Island where a four-hour firefighter and propane marketer training session will be held in conjunction with the conference, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Friday, September 17. The training session will be led by Timothy Ferns, president, Rumford Energy Group (Lancaster, NH); Paul Bogan, vice president of operations, Sea-3, Inc. (Newington, NH); Donald Duff, operations manager, EnergyNorth Propane, Inc. (Concord, NH); Kenneth L. Taylor, vice president, White Mountain Oil & Propane (North Conway, NH); and Ed Anderson, safety director, Star Gas Propane LP (Swanzy, NH).

In addition, there is a website ( dedicated to the program and continually updated, with interactive scenarios utilizing real-world emergency situations. Firefighters can also get information by calling a toll-free number (800-968-9484).

The Propane Education & Research Council was authorized by the U.S. Congress with the passage of the Public Law 104-284, the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), signed into law on October 11, 1996. The mission of the Propane Education & Research Council is to promote the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy source.

For more information about the Propane Council, please call 202-452-8975 or visit its website